The Citadel to Launch African American Studies Program
In an effort to emphasize the importance of diversity on its Charleston, S.C., campus, The Citadel announced plans last month to launch a degree program with emphasis on African Americans.
The 15-hour minor in African American studies, which will be offered this fall, is designed to encourage an appreciation for the contributions of people of African descent. Through the interdisciplinary study of history, politics, English, sociology and culture, the program aims to highlight the significance of race, gender and ethnicity in leadership.
“We want to prepare students to think critically, to express themselves creatively, and to respect culture and gender diversity,” said Dr. Marcus Cox, a history professor who spearheaded the program’s development. “Along with that we want to encourage faculty to share their expertise with the community and to maintain a community service component that (encourages) intellectual, cultural and spiritual growth of The Citadel and the community.”
Course work will include South Carolina and Southern history, the civil rights movement, African American literature, 20th-century Southern literature, constitutional law, cultural anthropology and minority group relations.
A key part of the program will be the African American Studies Community Outreach Initiative, which will serve as a channel for student, faculty and staff involvement with the community and surrounding area. Outreach initiatives will include community meetings, conferences, workshops, fund raising and a speaker’s bureau.
“We hope these efforts will promote communication between The Citadel and the community as well as enhance The Citadel’s visibility in the surrounding area by building and sustaining relationships between The Citadel and the community,” Cox said.
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